Dear Santa, All I Want in Houston Sports For Christmas Is...

Christmas is just around the corner, and I've once again come to accept that Mrs. Santa's sister won't be visiting me this year. But I think I've been a good boy this year, and if Santa can't give me her, or money, then there are a few more things that hopefully he'll leave for me this year.

JON GRUDEN: there's not a chance in Hell that Gruden's going to be the next coach of the Texans. But damn it, he should've been the first person that Bob McNair called after firing Gary Kubiak.

The last time the Raiders were good were when they were using Gruden's players and his playbook. The Bucs have been awful since dumping Gruden. Gruden won a Super Bowl with the immortal Brad Johnson as his QB, and yes, he is an offensive genius. He's a coach who actually understands how to utilize Andre Johnson -- hint, it's not as a decoy for the tight end.

Gruden's going to want complete control of this team, and it's doubtful he'd want to put up with somebody like Rick Smith as his second-in-command. So get rid of Smith and put in Gruden's puppet. Come on, let's make this happen.

CSN HOUSTON ON MY TV: I'm not a Les Alexander fan, but please Santa, can you give him a TV deal that the judge will approve that will allow CSN Houston to finally get on my TV? I don't really care how it happens, just as long as it happens.

Does Les buy out Jim Crane then buy the Astros rights? I don't care. Does Les buy out Comcast, take over majority control and merge with Fox Sports? Really, I don't care. Just give him a deal that the judge can approve and that will once again allow me to see Houston sports teams on my television.

SOME DECENT LOCAL COLLEGE BASKETBALL: Rice head coach Ben Braun did one of the best jobs of coaching basketball I've ever seen last season. The Owls were hit by a series of high-profile player defections just before last season hit, leaving the team undermanned, undersized, and with little talent. Yet though the Owls only won five games, Braun kept them competing and drew up an offensive scheme that consistently got his guys open shots and kept them in games. Eventually they would tire and lose.

The Owls are still recovering, but there's more talent, more depth on this team. So as the Owls move into conference play, let's hope for more wins and a better, more competitive atmosphere. As for the Houston Cougars, let's just hope that the team's not too often embarrassed this season.

The Cougars are moving into a big boy conference, the American Athletic Conference. They're not dealing with Rice and UTEP anymore, now they've got national powers Louisville, Cincinnati, Memphis, and UConn on the schedule, and things aren't looking good seeing as how UH has struggled against a weak non-conference schedule. The Coogs don't need to win, Santa (though that'd be nice), but not getting blown out every night will be nice.

BAN THE WAVE: Santa, when I go to a sporting event, I go to watch that event, especially when I go to baseball games. And I know there are many people who agree with me. Thus I'm asking that you ban the Wave from all sports events. Any fan who is caught participating in the Wave will be automatically ejected, and any fan caught trying to start the Wave will be banned from all stadiums for life.

I realize this sounds a touch harsh. But do you know what's really harsh, not being able to concentrate on the game because some drunk idiot wants to get the fans involved. You want to get involved, then watch the damn game and clap, applaud, boo or otherwise respond appropriately to what happens on the field.

So thanks, Santa. I look forward to your upcoming visit. And hey, if you want to send Mrs. Santa's sister to me also, that'd be really nice.

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